When most people say “marketing” today, they mean digital marketing. Marketing strategies are all about your SEO, your online presence, your social media content, and your web page design. But for small and especially local businesses, digital marketing is not the same end-all, be-all when it comes to cultivating a local client base and growing from the roots up.
Offline promotions can be just as important and, in fact, a way to end-around the competition by reaching your potential customers or clients directly instead of joining the rat-race to overtake the best keyword cluster. How can your local business use offline promotions as your secret weapon to growth and good customer relationships? We have a few great techniques for you to try.
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1) Get Involved in the Community
If there is one single offline method that can skyrocket local awareness of your business, it’s community involvement. Set up a booth at the local festivals and open-air markets. Become a sponsor for local school groups or teams. Become a contributing regular with local charity outreach, or build a float for your community’s annual holiday parade.
Get your name and your people out there, be seen wearing company shirts celebrating and interacting with your local client base in the most organic ways possible. Then you can write about it in your blog (with tons of great pictures) for the SEO bonus to boot.
2) Design a Memorable Business Card and Letterhead
Make your business memorable in person with an unforgettable business card design and a letterhead that makes messages truly feel like they are coming from your brand. Whether you choose elgance, flash, or innovation to guide your design, locals will soon come to know the signature look of your office’s printed assets. If you do good work and begin building a word-of-mouth referral network, that signature look will become associated with quality and a trustworthy local band that your local customers can rely on.
3) Signs, Banners, Murals, and Billboards
Of course, out-of-home marketing still has a significant impact when you are trying to reach customers who work and commute within your service area. Signage and banners can guide local leads to your door, or promote your brand when attending events off-site, but we also like how signage can allow youto mix up your medium and method.
Murals, for example, are a great way to use the side of your building to create a piece of art the neighborhood loves to see. Affection for your brand, worked into the appealing image, will rise naturally as a result. You can also take over local billboards – many more affordable than ever – to create more immersive roadside displays in strategic locations.
4) Partner with Other Local Businesses
Join the local business association, or the alliance of professionals in your industry and region. Become avaialble to your community through official channels, then pick your favourite fellow businesses to begin on a journey of paired marketing, shared deals, and unique promotional events.
Building partnerships with other local businesses can create a powerhouse or dynamo of promotional impact. Not only will you be working together, sharing resources and customers, but you will also be creating a brand partnership that can delight your local customer base.
5) Spread Tastefully Branded Merchandise
Another great way to get your brand in the view, in the hands, and on the heads of your local customers is through branded merchandise. Tasteful branding and high-quality goods can result in your t-shirts, caps, pens, and bags showing up around town many years from your initial ad campaigns. Bring your promotional goods to those community events you get involved in. Sell a few or hand everything out for free.
Gift your team high-quality branded merchandise as a reward for their hard work with promotional items that are useful, comfortable, and flattering. You will see your brand around town for years, if not decades, as a result.
6) Host Networking Events
Let’s not forget the effectiveness ofhosting your own professional events. Networking events are where local professionals and company reps can go to build a better business network. Networking is where business partnerships are forged, where you might discover a depth of talent for future hiring, and where professional locals learn about brands they are ready to promote.
Not only will your brand benefit from the networking, but you will also gain a reputation for fabulous event-planning and providing opportunities for professionals throughout your service area that goes above and beyond the requirements of any one local business.
Promoting your local business doesn’t have to mean competing for digital marketing coverage for your top keywords or geolocation. You can reach your potential customers directly simply by connecting offline with your community. Get involved, get invested, build partnerships, and share your merchandise near and far – whether you sell shoes or are marketing your local lawn care services.